The Government Work Plan 2021-2025: Investing in Islanders, Our Island and Our Future is the States' integrated action plan for this political term that focuses resources on our immediate economic, social and environmental needs and lays the groundwork for a bright future.
The Plan was agreed by the Assembly on 23rd July 2021. The approved propositions are available here.
What has happened so far?
On 26th March 2021, the States debated the Government Work Plan - stage 1 policy letter and agreed, among other things, the four priorities of government for this political term:
- Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic; an ongoing 'must-do' activity as the Island transitions to living with COVID-19 through testing and tracing, vaccination and easing border restrictions.
- Managing the effects of Brexit and meeting international standards; also an essential priority area - our jurisdiction's autonomy, international identity and adherence to international obligations must be maintained within the changed global landscape.
- Delivering the recovery actions; focusing on complementary actions that government should progress to best facilitate the Island's recovery from the pandemic.
- Re-shaping government; centred on those actions which will make the greatest contribution towards a more effective and affordable form of government and a more community-focused public service.
What will happen next?
While the stage 1 policy letter laid the foundations and agreed the essence of the Plan, the detail is now set out in the stage 2 policy letter, including costings, targets, measures and phasing. It includes the actions that will deliver the four priorities of government for this term as well as:
- The Funding and Investment Plan;
- A monitoring framework;
- Proposals with respect to amending Rule 4;
- The list of legislation prioritised for drafting; and
- Resolutions proposed for rescission or replacement.
The next step for the Plan will be the implementation stage, focusing on delivering the Top 10 recovery actions (see FAQs below) that commence this year, and a number of priority actions in the first 18 months. It will be annually reviewed in June at a Special Meeting of the States, where any changes that might be needed to reflect an evolving global and local context will be considered.
Below are some FAQs on the Plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Government Work Plan's vision?
- The States agreed to use the vision of the Revive and Thrive recovery strategy from 2020, which still applies:
- 'We will work in partnership to recover our economic prosperity, build on our inclusive community values and capitalise on our many strengths to make Guernsey a safe haven based on sustaining health, wealth and community.'
What are the Top 10 Priority 3 actions?
- The Top 10 actions to be progressed within the next 6 months are:
- Housing: Scope and deliver urgent measures necessary to address housing pressures;
- Education: Commence the reorganisation of secondary and post-16 education;
- Skills: Set out and resource proposals to grow knowledge and skills in our community;
- Digital infrastructure: Determine and begin implementation of the approach to enhanced digital infrastructure;
- Children: Support vulnerable children through revision to Children's Law and action on the Outcomes Report;
- Population: Assess the fitness for purpose of our population and immigration framework while recognising the need to balance economic needs with maintaining quality of life;
- Finance and tourism: Invest additional funding into promoting Guernsey's finance sector and establish a tourism plan and campaign to expand Guernsey's tourism offer;
- Regeneration: Establish a development agency and enable work to begin on the development of the seafront masterplan;
- Transport: Set out a clear and coordinated transport connectivity and infrastructure policy and further develop the general and commercial aviation sector; and
- Health recovery: Support the physical and mental recovery of Islanders through scoping and delivering the SOHWELL phase 3 programme and launching the pilot wellbeing centre jointly with third sector partners.
Will there be flexibility in the Government Work Plan and its actions?
- The Government Work Plan is all-encompassing, insofar as if an action or workstream isn't in it and doesn't fall under a Committee's business-as-usual (BAU) mandate, then it is not intended that a Committee will devote resources to deliver it. However, this does need to be flexible. Should an essential but unforeseen need arise, resources will be redirected. The general principle, nonetheless, is that the Plan covers all non-BAU governmental activity for this term. Future Government Work Plan initiatives and policy developments will be considered as part of the Plan's annual review process, progress on the actions will be reported each year and the action list will be amended as needed. The Plan will include sustainable measurements of success, not just GDP.
How have actions been phased?
- The actions have been scoped in a number of phases to better plan their delivery and meet their resource requirements over the course of this term. To do this, the Plan has been divided into three phases:
- Phase 1 - 2021/2022: Actions to be taken forward over the next 18 months (including the Top-10 actions which will all be underway in the next six months)
- Phase 2 - 2023/2024: Actions to be commenced this term; and
- Phase 3 - 2025/2026: Actions kept under review.
- A Top 10 list of Priority 3 actions to address the most pressing recovery needs has been identified.
How will the Government Work Plan be monitored?
- In March 2021, the States agreed to direct the development of a monitoring framework for the Plan through which the delivery and performance of actions can be tracked. An approach to the monitoring framework is presented in the stage 2 policy letter, which recommends using internationally comparable, existing measures. If agreed by the States, the next phase will be to develop and agree targets and measures to monitor the effects of Plan. It is important to note that it can take years to realise the effects of policy decisions and for that to be reflected in measures. It is also important to recognise that generally multiple policies will impact standard measures, for example the level of carbon emissions.
Which Committee owns the Government Work Plan?
- The Plan is fundamentally owned by the executive decision-making body - the States of Deliberation. Together, all 40 Deputies own the Plan and are the final decision-makers in agreeing its content. Under its mandated role to coordinate policy of the States, the Policy & Resources Committee has coordinated the development and submission of the Government Work Plan. It has worked intensively with the Government Work Plan Sub-Committee and collaboratively with States Members to develop a phased and resourced set of recovery actions, based on the emerging list considered by the States in March. States' Members have had multiple opportunities to feed into the Plan's development.
How have the recovery actions been prioritised and decided?
- When the Government Work Plan - stage 2 was under development, the Policy & Resources Committee convened the Government Work Plan Sub-Committee, comprised of States' Members from across the organisation, to help refine and recommend which actions should be prioritised from those that various Committees had previously submitted. Over the course of a number of weeks, the sub-committee considered and revised Priority 3 action frameworks, before submitting its recommendations to the Policy & Resources Committee. All States' Members were invited to a series of events in May and June 2021 designed to solicit their feedback on the developing Plan.
- The recovery actions are therefore a result of engagement from across the States.